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How To Cope With Aging Parents
Now more than ever, people are having to figure out how to cope with aging parents. Thanks to advances in medicine, the average life expectancy has increased dramatically over what it was in the past, and it will continue to rise. As a result, more and more adult children are finding themselves taking on the caregiver role for elderly parents. Luckily, there are things you can do to make coping with aging parents a little either.
- Talk to everyone concerned. As your parents get older, chances are you will have to eventually help them to deal with one problem or another. It’s important to sit down with everyone concerned (your spouse, your siblings, your children, and your parents) about what you will do in a given situation. Where will your parents live if they can no longer live on their own? Who will make medical decision for them if they can’t make them for themselves? Ironing out these important details now will help prevent problems later on.
- Know your parents’ medical situation. Many children of aging parents feel their parents’ medical situation is none of their business. But it is important for you to know what is going on in regards to your parents’ health. Find out who their doctors are, and get the phone number for each one. Find out what medications your parents need to take. If your parents don’t seem to be feeling well, ask them for details. (What are their symptoms? How long have they been feeling this way?) Make their health one of your primary concerns.
- Keep in touch. It can be hard to keep in touch with aging parents, especially if you live some distance from them. But it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Call frequently, at least once a week, but preferably more. Visit as often as you can, so you can see with your own eyes how they are doing. Get to know their friends and neighbors, and don’t hesitate to ask them how your parents seem to be doing.
- Know what resources are available. There are many resources available to adult children who are trying to cope with aging parents. And it’s important for you to find out what they are. Often, finding one good resource can open you up to many more.
Figuring out how to cope with aging parents can be a daunting task. But giving it some thought, and putting the right plans in place, can give you peace of mind, and make dealing with the challenges a little easier.
Posted on: Apr. 16, 2010